The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has disclosed more details of its plans to procure a stopgap ship-launched heavyweight anti-ship missile system, revealing that the so-called Interim Surface-to-Surface Guided Weapon System (I-SSGW) is only intended to equip five Type 23 frigates.
The I-SSGW is intended to bridge a capability gap left by the retirement of the GWS 60/Harpoon Block 1C system in Royal Navy (RN) service circa 2023 and the planned introduction of the French/UK Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW). As it approaches the conclusion of a three-year concept phase led by MBDA, FC/ASW is intended to yield a replacement for the Exocet and Harpoon anti-ship missiles, plus the air-launched SCALP/Storm Shadow cruise missiles, but it is not expected to enter service until around 2030.
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